Better PR Tactics for Today’s Media

The October PRSA ICF meeting on Dead PR Tactics provided smart ideas from panelists: Connie Bryant, Newell Rubbermaid; Nancy Rogers, BOLDface Communications, Green Earth PR Network; Chris Schroder, Schroder PR; and moderator: Ed Van Herik, Independent Counselor.

After identifying Five Dead PR tactics, we talked about what strategies are alive and well, working in PR today.

Some PR tactics are poised for a comeback. 

Creative Commons license, via Flickr and David Sifry
  • B roll. Media budgets are tighter than ever, so having more resources available for the press is a huge asset. Good video footage that can be edited into a newscast can get you into the story. Think digital, have files ready for FTP download.
  • Pictures.Like video, the right picture tells and sells the story.
    • For a glossy print publication, have professionally shot high-resolution pictures.
    • If it’s a blog you’re after, send them the low-resolution (web) version. (I have an entire blog post devoted to photography in the works; stay tuned.)
  • PSAs (Public Service Announcements) may make a comeback on radio pending possible updated regulations from the FCC. This will probably have more impact for non-profit public relations. Stay tuned.
  • Press Release. Shorter, better written, and reworked for SEO. It’s the template for your pitch, and at times still requested. Also consider the Social Media release.

Some tactics have long lives, strengthened by today’s climate.

  • Client Training. Always necessary and needed, in spite of client protests, educating the client about today’s media, their interests and how as their PR counsel you work with media to tell the client’s story is essential to managing expectations.
  • Website Newsroom. With newspaper and magazine staffs being cut, more journalists are turning to social media and online resources for information. An online newsroomis the electronic press kit: Fact Sheets, Executive Bios, the boilerplate information that a writer or blogger would need, along with the latest Press Releases all in one convenient location.
    • Downloadable product and employee images, various resolutions.
    • Downloadable PDF versions of Fact Sheets, Brochures, Sales materials.
    • Think multimedia, multichannel. Everything from print, to audio to video.
  • Extend the Coverage.Media hits are great but they are only part of the package. Think beyond reprints, maximize what you get, take control and send them out to your audiences. Put it in a blog, add links to it or post the reprint PDF on the Website newsroom.
    • For my clients–yeah, doing something right–I:
      • Repackage the news in their quarterly newsletter.
      • Send it out as part of a bi-monthly HTML email or e-blast with links.
      • Link it through news sharing sites like StumbleUpon or Digg.
      • And of course, extend it the social media way: post on their Facebook page, LinkedIn groups, and share links on Twitter.

It boils down to working smarter: better research to identify the right reporters, targeting stories to key media channels, and give them what they need. HARO is such a success because of a simple proposition: help a reporter out. Provide the tools and resources reporters and bloggers need for their stories, then get out of the way.

What PR tactics are working for you?

Thanks to Jenny Schmitt for her smart ideas. Photo credit: Creative Commons via Flickr and David Sifry

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